Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yay! Tour!

I'm leaving for tour in two days. Fucking finally. Being on tour is always way better than not being on tour. I've missed waking up with no obligations, I've missed long half-asleep van rides, I've missed late-night silliness while cooped up with close friends, and I've really missed the south. Shorts and flip-flops here I come. You can check out my tour schedule on the website of the band I'm going on tour with, Swallowed Up.

When I get back from tour I will be unemployed. I saved up enough money to pay rent and minimum credit card payments until April, so I can coast for a while, but with several thousand in credit card debt looming over me I will need to get a job not too long after returning. I'm awaiting a response from Golden Voice, a concert promoter to whom I gave a resume, and from a college acquaintance that has some experience in the merchant marine world. If neither of those leads works out, I'll probably get all spiffed up and go door to door in SoHo looking for retail work in a low-foot traffic clothing store, relying on the appeal of young, hip, tattooed boys to the older gay customer base of stores like John Varvatos. And if that doesn't work out... I'll probably go back to couriering. But I'm seriously so sick of it, I hope something else does. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. I need a job with minimal commitment and flexible hours because tour, traveling, spontaneous weeks off etc. are very important to me. Ideally I'd like to work somewhere that pays enough in a short amount of time that I can afford to work for a very intense month or two and then take off for several more months - the Ordinary Seaman gig is a perfect example. If you or anyone you know has ever worked on a ship, get at me.

Unrelatedly, I'm also looking for music recommendations. I've been getting into a lot of new punk/hardcore stuff lately but I've had a hard time finding out about new bands on the low-key side of things. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Appleseed Cast, Maritime, Pygmy Lush (Mount Hope), One AM Radio, Bon Iver, and, as always, shoegaze, and I'm looking for more stuff like that. Suggestions?

Monday, January 5, 2009


My dearest Welch explained to me in nearly incomprehensible tech-ese how to fix my image cropping problem, and gist of it is as I feared: either resize the photos or learn to program CSS. But I'm more of an outside of the box thinker, plus I'm lazy, so instead I'm going to leave them alone and suggest that if you want to see the photo full-size you can right-click it and click "view image" or your browser's equivalent. You can see everything you need to see in most of them anyway (bad composition notwithstanding), so the only ones worth viewing directly are the one of me moshing and the one of Chris cowering. Resizing them probably wouldn't be worth it anyway, since one of the drawbacks of fisheye photography is that everything looks smaller.

And while I'm writing, perhaps an update of the extended-break saga: my boss called today to tell me not to come in to work on Tuesday - which would have been my first full day since December 19th - because they over-scheduled, so it looks like I have until Wednesday to perfect the art of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile. Today is shaping up to be a productive day of not being productive, as I have already completed my entire to-do list as of 1:30pm. Unfortunately I will have to leave the house today for a tattoo appointment at 6. I will post pictures of my new blasphemous Buffy tattoo once I get home.


EDIT: all of my pictures are getting cut off a few inches from the right. If someone can explain to me how I can avoid this problem, I will mail him/her/hir a signed print of any one of the recently-posted photos. Leave a comment or email me at jackhsamuel - at - gmail - dot - com.

I worked a half day on NYE-eve and have not been back since, so this past week has turned out to be an extended Christmas break. Never fear, I've managed to stay busy with such activities as watching 9+ hours of Buffy and Angel in one day, sitting in my room alone and reading Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar while a hardcore show happened in my living room (I made an appearance for Surroundings' set and was rewarded with a Hatebreed cover to which I moshed like it was 2002), having a contest to see how many Cheerios Chris could stack on my face (he won), bashing holes in the wall with David's old golf clubs (and subsequently knocking the head's off against the second-floor supports, leaving us with formidable weapons in case of disrespectful show-goers/asshole 4th floor neighbors/cops, which we have so far only used to throw at Chris and Matt's wall in an attempt to play oversized darts), and mosh-boxing our houseguest/temporary roommate Kyle Bryant. The idea for mosh-boxing came to me in a flash of brilliance when Ben put No Warning on the stereo in preparation for the Weezy vs. Chris bantam-weight title match and everyone started dancing around the recently-cleared out living room. The basic idea is this: box while moshing. It turns out that mosh-boxing is far more tiring than moshing or boxing alone, and despite riding my bike 50+ miles a day for a living I am apparently way out of shape. Nonetheless, after taking a few taps to the jaw in the first several minutes, I managed to land a left cross that changed the tone of the fight in my favor and ultimately won. Pictured below: the devastating and fight-ending left jab a split second before reddening Kyle's nose, me moshing while Kyle (off-camera) recovers from an earlier and slightly less devastating right jab, Kyle moshing in a seemingly-celebratory fashion while I square up, and Chris looking terrified by Weezy (their fight was a draw because Chris accidentally nailed Weezy in his little man parts several times in a row). There are several equally good pictures that don't make Chris look like a coward, as well as a few of Kyle not about to get punched (to be fair, despite ultimately winning, I far from dominated the entire fight), and a couple good ones of Benny - the referee - moshing in between fights, possibly while listening to the bad Death Threat, but Chris didn't email them to me. Perhaps I'll make an additional post once I have them. You will notice Benny in the background of the third picture moshing the shit out of our wall (yes, he is wearing bib-shorts underneath camo shorts).


This year I've made several resolutions. Mostly the usual types of things: learn to stop stating my opinion as fact, start doing BJJ again, write music, read The Brothers Karamozov (this will be the second consecutive year I've made this particular resolution, but I feel good about it this time). However, in addition to resolutions, I've also made a New Year's bet with my good friend and new roommate, Chris Garnett of Swallowed Up fame. As of midnight on January 1st, we are both wearing sweatpants every day. Exemptions are allowed for work or extenuating circumstances that involve externally imposed dress codes (going to the ballet, being the best man at a wedding, etc.) but otherwise, only sweatpants, underwear, and PJs allowed. The idea came from a conversation concerning the inability to look cool while wearing sweatpants, and we decided that it would be a fun excersize to pit our stubbornness against our shallowness. The loser of the bet can chose one of the following punishments: getting a sweatpants-related tattoo from the winner or playing off-key Nirvana covers with a ukelele in the Union Square subway station for an hour. Though it started as a competition, it quickly became more of a supportive partnership in which we encourage each other to stay strong and not give in to our superficial tendencies to care whether or not we look like complete schlubs.

At midnight everyone else at the Stronghold's pizza party was on the roof watching out for fireworks (which I'm told never materialized), so Chris and I were forced to shoot our ceremonial donning of the sweatpants using the self-timer on his camera. Continuing to work under the theory that fisheyes make everything look more exciting, we used the fisheye lens that Chris Riot (not to be confused with Chris Fuck Yeah AKA Chris Garnett, Chris from the Bone Yard who now lives in 210 and whose last name I don't know, or Chris French from the Stronghold AKA 206) taught us how to attach to the camera. Below are the last photo taken of me looking good for a while, and a photo of my caterpillar-like transformation. If you want to see the whole series of me undressing, they are on my myspace.